Monday, May 18, 2020



Whenever a priest celebrates Holy Mass/the Divine Liturgy, the entire Heavenly Court: the Holy Trinity, Our Blessed Mother, all the Angels, Saints, Martyrs, all the blessed who dwell therein, are present, surrounding the altar, filling the church, no matter how grand or small the edifice, with all the radiant love, joy, light which flows upon us, and, if we open wide the doors of our being, permeates us!

Psalm 149.9 proclaims the truth that: the Lord delights in His people, that’s each one of us first individually, for are all His children, and then communally as one human family. Through Baptism we become members of the body of Christ, and this too is both an individual and communal reality, as St. Paul teaches about the body of Christ: If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy. [1Cor.12:26]

Blaise Pascal in his Pensées, a series of reflections on faith and life, urges us: “In difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart.”

The greatest beauty we can carry in our hearts is Christ Himself, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit delights in dwelling within us and if we strive to be true disciples of Christ then it is the beauty of the Holy Trinity which will radiate from our hearts upon all our brothers and sisters, for indeed these are the very difficult times when beauty is needed, a beauty which gives hope.

It is when we open our hearts also to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit within that, we who have been created as delight of God, therefore for happiness, the real happiness which is gift, not the ersatz happiness of mere pleasure, experience the Holy Spirit’s gift of joy, which is also to experience the true freedom of the children of God.

Therein that freedom is experienced also the consolation of hope.

The freedom of the children of God is living in but not of the world, living not bent towards ourselves but walking open hearted, towards others in imitation of Christ, protected, comforted, interceded for and loved by those who have gone before us and now dwell in the eternal happiness, beauty, joy, that is the eternal communion of love with the Most Holy Trinity who delights in us.

Every time we pray-proclaim the Apostles’ Creed we profess belief in the Communion of Saints.

Communion with the saints: "It is not merely by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven; we seek, rather, that by this devotion to the exercise of fraternal charity the union of the whole Church in the Spirit may be strengthened. Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself" [1]

Sometimes by ancient tradition, sometimes by designation at the time of their canonization, those in the heavenly kingdom, who have traveled the road of life, been pilgrims of the Absolute before us, are known as the patron saints of a particular country, city, town, village, parish, among these would be St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Protectress of Canada, while others are patrons of various professions such as St. Joseph patron of carpenters, others, like St. Jude, intercessor for ‘impossible situations’, are called upon for various needs.

While it is wonderful all the gestures of gratitude to the doctors, nurses and others caring for us, protecting us, assuring there is food, etc., it also is a time to call upon those Saints who are patrons both for those who care for us, and indeed for those sickened, physically or mentally, by the virus or the impact of isolation.

When this link appears:   scrolling to ‘saints in the medical field’ shows not only the patron saints of doctors, such as St. Luke, and nurses but also those of, for example EMTs, or police officers for whom St. Michael the Archangel is one of the patrons.

Jesus’ promise not to leave us orphans, Jn.14:18, encompasses the Communion of Saints, whose Queen is our Blessed Mother, whom Jesus gave to us when St. John at the foot of the Cross stood in his own person and as representative of each one of us: Jn. 19:26,27.

Besides the intercession, love, protection of the Saints, closeness to them, for they all struggled, suffered, fell, sinned, confessed, began again, should deepen our hope, enhance our joy, strengthen our faith.

Unfortunately the best link I have found for Saints in a time of plague, which this pandemic is,  has bothersome ads, ads on internet sites being another form of plague, it is worth checking out:

Yep, time to turn again to St. Monica, the patron saint of those in need of patience!



[1] para. 956

© 2020 Fr. Arthur Joseph


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